Camp Happened Too Fast

According to my biological clock, we should be playing dodgeball right now, slowly wrapping up the game so that we can bring the kids to lunch. I shouldn’t be sitting here, at the Tavern, leisurely drinking my coffee and sitting with friends. It just isn’t right.

Friday 7/26 was our Fairmount Park Elementary School science camp graduation ceremony and, honestly, I cried like a baby. I had my ups and downs with the kids, there’s no doubt about that, but I don’t think I ever realized just how much I would truly miss them when summer camp was over.

When we first started working at camp, I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like it. After all, I didn’t like the year that I worked in first grade, and these kids were only older—and, after my first day of work proved, not afraid to speak their mind.

Next year, I’m volunteering in a pre-kindergarten class, so I didn’t think I was going to enjoy working with rising fourth and fifth graders. Boy, was I wrong. I miss the kids more than anything.

Camp only ended a couple weeks ago and I already can’t wait to see them when the school year starts.

The students sitting in their seats for Graduation.

Goodbyes Aren’t Always Forever

Last Friday marked the last day of the College of Education’s Bridge to Success summer camp.

We ended with an awesome graduation where the kids presented their own raps on what they have learned this year.

How do you not miss the children you have taught for six weeks?!

While many of the other counselors held back tears it dawned on me that I would see almost all these kids in less than a month from now!

When a few of our consistent trouble makers came up to me and hugged me, begging me to have the camp last until the first day of school my heart almost broke. We were a great resource for the kids and I have no doubt in my mind that they had a better chance at becoming college-bound students.

After our lovely ceremony of the children “graduating” I was happily surprised to hear all of the parents talk about how proud they were of their children.

This is a card made from a student for all of the counselors and teachers at our Bridge to Success Camp!

This is a card made from a student for all of the counselors and teachers at our Bridge to Success Camp!

It felt so inspiring that I made a difference in these kids’ lives. One person really can make a difference.


Check out a little video about our camp via WUSF TV!

(Yes I am just as shocked that we had a tv station! Check out the other videos here.)

Student with a preserved Puffer Fish!

Fish and Salsa!

Fish and salsa?! No not the food, preserved fish and salsa dancing! Our students at the College of Education summer camp is coming to a close but it’s with a bang!

The students got to go into Teresa Greeley’s Marine biology lab and got to learn about different fish.

Something Fishy

Our groups at the Marine Biology Lab!

Our groups at the Marine Biology Lab!

The surprise for all of us was apparent when we walked through the door to the smell of rubbing alcohol and something fishy.

The students got to touch preserved fish of all kind. Lovely Ms. Greeley got the kids all gloved up and they got to learn a lot about a fish just by looking at it!

Now one thing I can tell you about our summer camp, our kids either love our hate our salsa lessons. Personally I love dancing and salsa with USFSP’s very own, Eloy Martinez, as our instructor I figured our kids would love it.

Finding your inner salsa

Our students in action learning some salsa steps!

Our students in action learning some salsa steps!

Well guess again, our group HATED salsa with more passion than I thought. It wasn’t until week five of summer camp that the kids finally started to take interest in learning salsa.

I was starting to get a little worried about their lack of enthusiasm but check out pictures below of our new salsa kings and queen!

Who knew a rare opportunity with FREE salsa lessons from a great teacher would be opposed by our children!

I’m happy because finally with the last two weeks of camp that our students finally found their inner salsa dancers.

Our Salsa Class!

Our Salsa Class!

Until next time,

Ms. L

A few of the kids and I on our boat trip to coffee pot island!

“Ms. L Got No Swag”

Working full time at a high needs elementary school and now a summer camp I knew I was in trouble with my lack of “swag”. I am an education major and I have the pleasure of being surrounded by children year round. But I thought being 19, and in my opinion, pretty cool would have no problem being the cool adult the kids want to hang out with.

It wasn’t until I experienced my first summer camp ever, here at USFSP, and I was a counselor, that I realized what I was in store for. These kids have been the hardest to handle while keeping my sanity with forty hours a week and twelve credit hours.

Regardless of the stress and lack of sleep our kids cheer me up with our in house Dancing with the Stars competition between groups.

I tried to dance with the kids and they asked me to stop. I swear I wasn’t that bad! But apparently I have no “swag”. After hearing them chant that I have no swag it was on!

I spent all weekend practicing my moves to show off for the kids. I worked on my dougie and cat daddy and tried to do all those fancy foot steps the kids like to do. Then Monday came and I was ready to blow these kids out of the water.

We had a mini dance off and it was the moment of truth, I had to face my small group of kids and dance like my life counted on it.

After showing off my dance moves I have now become the “Swag Queen”!

That’s right, redemption, it feels so sweet.

Until next time,

Miss L.

Kayla Cinerar '13 (left) completed her work at Suncoast Elementary School and Monica Aguiar '13 did her work at Spring Hill Elementary

College of Education Teaching & Learning Presentations

Seniors in the College of Education demonstrate how they planned and executed a one or two week standards-based instructional unit in local schools this morning in Harbor Hall.

These students will graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Education with certifications in elementary education and exceptional student education and endorsements in reading and ESOL.